Entries in interview (11)


Polyamory: Understanding Relationship Geometry

Relationship Configurations

When relationships are examined by the media and/or empirical research, the focus is often on the traditional monogamous couple (i.e., one male and female, two males, or two females). These monogamous relationships are depicted as the natural and healthy ideal.1 Conversely, the media often portrays those in consensually non-monogamous (CNM) relationships as deviants; and therapists also suggest that the existence of CNM relationships mean the primary relationship is troubled.1 Clearly, there is a stigma surrounding non-monogamy, and, therefore, non-monogamy is generally not openly discussed. This is problematic, not only because non-monogamous individuals are often stereotyped, but they also suffer from a lack of support within the therapeutic community. Nicole Graham, a psychiatrist, writes, “It is apparent that a lack of awareness of and appreciation for non-traditional relationship patterns can have deleterious effects, including but not limited to a lack of objectivity, inadvertent criticism and potential pathologization of individuals, damaged therapeutic alliances, resultant treatment non-adherence, and potentially poorer patient outcomes.”2

This article will discuss why it is so important to understand the various types of relationship configurations that exist, specifically polyamory, as well as provide a first-hand account and a deeper understanding of the polyamorous community. First, it is important to recognize that there are a variety of relationship configurations. For a brief discussion of non-monogamous relationships, please refer to my previous article on open relationships (see here).3

As previously mentioned, there are many societal, as well as therapeutic benefits of taking a closer look at CNM relationships. Mental health practitioners must be able to recognize the sexual fluidity both within individuals and within their relationship arrangements.  Marianne Brandon, a clinical psychologist asks,

“If we as treators cannot accept and contain the monogamy challenge, how can we help our patients to do the same?...And if we chose to criticize our patients’ non-monogamous choices can we still optimally assist them in the intimate challenges for which they seek help? Probably not. And our patients need our help now more than ever”4

In order to be able to help those who come in with an “unconventional” relationship style, therapists must address their personal biases, and what better way to do that than by learning more about unconventional relationships?

Click to read more ...


“We Don’t Have Anal Sex in Malawi” and Other Tales

Michelle Kaufman is a researcher who focuses on sexual behavior in the developing world. She globetrots regularly, engaging in ethnographic work along the way in order to inform the quantitative and qualitative research she conducts. Recently, Michelle visited Malawi to start a research study on condom use and accessibility.

I recently returned from a research trip to Malawi where I was training a data collection team on the procedures and questionnaires for two small studies, one focused on condom use and accessibility, and the other on male circumcision. The team with which I work—from the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs, Malawi—is in the midst of conducting a 10-year-long program called BRIDGE, which focuses on HIV prevention through the provision of services such as voluntary male medical circumcision (VMMC), getting pregnant women to enroll in treatment for prevention of mother-to-child-transmission (PMTCT) of HIV, and, most relevant to this article, condom distribution.  

Click to read more ...


Underdogs: They’re Hot

People often think that successful people are attractive. But what about their less successful counterparts? Are they destined to be seen as less attractive? In a study involving hypothetical job applicants, those candidates described as being “underdogs” -- i.e., they were unlikely to get a particular job due to unfair circumstances beyond their control (e.g., their application had been misplaced by a secretary) -- were rated as especially physically attractive and desirable to date compared to candidates who were (a) unfairly advantaged (i.e., had a friend pressuring the employer to hire them) or (b) were unlikely to get the job due to their own incompetence (i.e., they failed to follow directions on the job application). That’s right…being an underdog can be hot if your failures are not your own fault.

Michniewicz, K. S., & Vandello, J. A. (in press). The attractive underdog: When disadvantage bolsters attractiveness. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.


Dr. Tim Loving on the Dudley & Bob Show (KLBJ-FM, Austin, TX)

ScienceOfRelationship.com's Dr. Tim Loving makes his radio debut on The Dudley & Bob Morning Show (KLBJ-FM, 93.7) in Austin, TX. Click on the button to play the ~19 minute clip ("fastest 19 minutes of my life" -- Dr. Loving).


Dr. Jennifer Harman Interviewed on Irish Radio (with audio).

ScienceOfRelationships' Dr. Jennifer Harman was recently interviewed by iRadio.ie (Ireland) about relationship science and our book. Click on the button to play the interview.


Dr. Jennifer Harman Interviewed on the Moncrieff Radio Show (with audio)

Dr. Jennifer Harman recently talked to Sean Moncrieff (NewsTalk.ie, 106-108FM in Ireland) about relationship science and our new book. Click on the green play button to listen to the 5 minute interview.


Dr. Jennifer Harman Interviewed on "Passion" Radio Show (streaming audio)

SofR's Dr. Jennifer Harman was recently invited to talk about relationship science and our new book on the CJAD800 (Montreal, Canada) talk show Passion with Laurie Betito. Click on the button to play the interview.


New "Relationship Matters" Podcast!

Volume 5 of Relationship Matters has just been released. You can download the MP3 here.

In the first interview, Dr. Nickola Overall discusses the best strategies for creating change in our relationships - what to do and what not to do! This work is also written about in a recent Science of Relationships post

In the second interview, Dr. Susan Charles tells us that older adults (e.g., above 65) tend to generally have better social networks than younger adults, and tend to be happier and more satisfied with life generally. She describes how young people could learn to be happier by emulating strategies used by older adults!

Relationship Matters is the official podcast of the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships and is dedicated to bringing its audience interviews with relationship researchers presented in an accessible way that highlights practical implications. You can visit their Facebook page here.


"Relationship Matters" Podcast on Adult Attachment

We've posted about adult attachment previously, and in this installment of Relationship Matters, Dr. Jeff Simpson discusses its relevance to relationship well-being. In addition, Dr. Gurit Birnbaum talks about the link between attachment and sex. Download the MP3 here.

Relationship Matters is the official podcast of the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships and is dedicated to bringing its audience interviews with relationship researchers presented in an accessible way that highlights practical implications. You can visit their Facebook page here.


Is the Royal Couple Compatible?

Science of Relationship's very own Maryhope Howland talks about the future of the royal couple. You can read more about her thoughts on their relationship here, and learn more about her research here.



NPR interview with Dr. John Maner and Dr. Martie Haselton

If you enjoyed last week's post on John Tierney's write-up about Saul Miller and Jon Maner's work, you might be interested in the new interview on NPR's On Point with Dr. Maner (Florida State University) and Dr. Martie Haselton (UCLA). Click here to check it out at the NPR site.